Friday, October 7, 2011

I won! I won the October Unity Kit of the Month Sketch Challenge!! :)

Happy dance, happy dance! I'm so excited. I win the awesome prize that Unity offers for their Kit of the Month Sketch Challenge. I get a past Kit of the Month of my choice and 100 other stamps. I'm going to share these with my daughter since she helped me enter. :)

I just love their kits.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Okay, so I have some work to do on my terrarium!

Check out this great article about terrariums. These are beautiful!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

So these Unity Sketch Challenges Are Addicting!

The September Unity Kit of the Month Sketch Challenge is up and I am D-U-N --Done! :)

My little helper wanted to make her own card for this challenge too, so I said, "Have at it!" and let her loose in my craft stuff.  Here is her lovely creation!

We both chose the February 2010 Kit of the Month to take on this challenge. It's the first kit I ever purchased and it's still one of my favorites. I just love those little birds! My card is actually a card front. I think I might use it on a scrapbook page. I'm all about making things that I can use and keep. I'm also way behind with my scrapbooks, so really I should focus any craft energy on those.

These nests are great to make. You really can't mess them up and all you do is layer (and layer, and layer) strips of paper together, round out the bottom, and cut the top to the desired shape. And there you go. A nest! I also dug through my scrap pile for the paper piecings. It's so liberating to get rid of those scraps that I've been hanging onto for these sorts of occasions. I think the orange dotted paper is Creative Memories paper that I've had forever!

And there you have it! This is what a Friday night looks like around here! Mom and daughter sitting around at the craft table. She is so my little clone and I just love her!

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School: Tag for Taylor's Bag! :)

There are so many great things about being a parent, but I just love how I can make cute things for my kids that they can use. Taylor, my little crafting buddy, gets a lot of things that I make. It's not that I don't like making stuff for my boys. Taylor just likes appreciates them a little more, I guess!

Unity Stamp Company has a challenge going on right now for back to school and I decided to make a tag for Taylor's book bag! And here it is:

I didn't have that cute Unity schoolhouse stamp, so I drew a school bus and cut it out. I also dug around in my Kits of the month and pulled out a variety of stamps from past months for the background collage.

Back to the bus: I'm so proud of it! I drew the basic shape of the bus and cut it out with my wonderful Martha Stewart scissors. Those things cut like buttah! I then punched out some labels using my EK Success Large Photo Labels Paper Punch for the windows. I trimmed them down and sponged them with CTMH Heavenly Blue ink. After that, I punched out a couple wheels, sponged some White Daisy around the edges and took out my black pen to accent the bus. When it was ready, I took out the VersaMark and sprinkled clear embossing powder over the entire bus. I love how it turned out!!

After that I used my Cricut to cut out Taylor's name. I used the packaging from a pack of rhinestone stickers for the plastic sleeve for the tag. Works perfectly and it will keep it nice and clean!

This was a fun project and I'm glad that it has a practical use.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?

I do! I love using buttons on my projects. I never throw an old shirt away without salvaging the buttons first, either!

I made an amazing discovery today: Sorting buttons is only fun the first two minutes. After that, well, it's work. And lots (and lots) of tedious repetitive work! My button sort project has been long overdue. I know I'm certainly not the first person to sort my buttons by colors, but hey, I'm here now! I was lucky enough to have one of my little helpers with me who actually enjoyed putting the buttons in their proper jars.

I've been gathering these little jars for a few months. Glass jars have been on my GoodWill hunting list ever since I got the itch to make a terrarium. I love grouping items together that are not alike, but similar and I think these jars look so pretty together.

Some of the jars have lids, some don't. A couple are cute old milk bottles. Love them! I also love how the next time I need a button, I won't have to dig around for the right color! They're all here, organized and will look pretty on my shelf when I'm not using them!

Now that I have these buttons all sorted, I think I need more buttons to get these jars filled to the top! :)

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I finally did a Unity Stamp Company Sketch Challenge

My email inbox is a dangerous place to be if you're a message. I always have the best intentions to read my emails, but too often, they get "saved as new" only to become one of the many other messages buried underneath hundreds of other emails.

That's what usually happens with my Unity Stamp Company emails too, but a couple days ago I noticed a message that said, "Six Days Left for the August Challenge!" It was about the Unity Kit of the Month Sketch Challenge and I decided to print it up and actually do it this time! Besides, I was needing a little inspiration. What better way to get the juices flowing than with a sketch?! My first sketch ever at that!

So, here it is! I used my June 2010 Kit of the Month, Fly Free. I just love the beachy feel of this kit. It's so "California".

I gave it sunrise/sunset colors. Love those warm colors that you feel when thinking of the sun. You probably can't tell from the picture, but I actually broke out the embossing powder for this card too...twice! On the soaring bird and on the sunny waves below. I found a button in my jar with a sunburst look to it so I knew that needed to go on there too!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ballard Designs Made Me Do It!

Yesterday afternoon, I got the sudden urge to finally take care of the ugly powder blue striped walls in my daughter's room. They were dingy, didn't match anything and were really dated. I've hated them since we moved into our house... nearly six years ago! Well, before the urge left me, I hopped out of bed (I happened to be trying to take a nap at the time) and grabbed the keys, and called out to the kids, "Come on kids, we're going to Lowe's to get some paint!"

Since it was her room, I let her choose the color (within reason of course). I had heard about the Valspar paint with primer in it already and since we've had great luck with Valspar paint in the past, I made a beeline to their signature wall. She went straight to the inch worm green and I approved.

Hubby was out of town and I'm not sure if that helped me paint or made it harder. I'm gonna say it helped because if he were here he would have talked me out of painting in the first place. Although my aching body tells me that it hurt because he usually works the roller while I cut in around the edges with my Purdy paint brush. I swear you can paint a room with just a drop cloth, paint roller, tray, and a Purdy. No tape needed if you have a steady hand and a good paint brush to go around the edges. Trust me. Our first home was nothing but a huge painting project and I've tried everything! (gasp for air now! ... now onto my post.)

Have you ever flipped through a Ballard Designs catalog?! Beautiful stuff in there and it's full of lots of inspiration to get you motivated and decorating. Well, I came across something in the catty that inspired me. The Newspaper Dress Giclee Print. It is adorable, but at $299 plus added shipping charges due to its large size, there was no way I was going to have Master Card (said in my best British accent) handle this transaction! So... I improvised and made my own version for my Taylor!

Of course, it's not the same style dress, but since it was for my little girls room, I wanted to make it more of a child's dress. Taylor just wanted to add a purse to it.

First, I pulled out an old picture, removed it from the frame and painted right over it with left-over paint from Taylor's walls. I then moved on to piecing the dress together. As we were going through our newspapers, I found a misprint page that I thought looked neat. The page was mostly black and I used it for two pieces of the skirt.

I then looked through the pages making sure not to use pieces with words describing unsettling medical conditions, obituaries, or just plain weird stories. The Lifestyle section seemed to be best for these kinds of things.

For my own touch, I added buttons for a little color. Taylor helped me choose these.

And here's Taylor's favorite piece, the hand bag! She made a special request that it be clipped from the comics. I complied. :)
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The (I can't believe I had a reason to make a) Tomato Card

Tomato season is in full swing right now and I couldn't be happier. There are two kinds of people this time of year. Those who have grown and are enjoying their own succulent tomatoes, and those like me, who are more than happy to help a neighbor with too many tomatoes on his hands. Our nice neighbors happened to be outside the other day at the same time our kids were outside playing and lucky for me, he was picking his tomatoes. My daughter came running inside saying that Mr. Fox wants to know if you want some tomatoes. I managed to blurt out a "definitely!!" before I started salivating so much that my speech was impaired.

That night, I feasted on a Tomato sandwich and thanks to 90 degree weather, it was still warm from the sun! YUMMY!!

Those tomatoes were so good that I just HAD to make the Foxes a thank you card to show my appreciation. They are not stampers, so I'm pretty sure they have deemed me insane. I guess I am a little crazy...crazy for home grown tomatoes that is! There's nothing better this time of year...besides back to school!

For this card, I cut out circles with my Creative Memories Circle Patterns. (An oldie but a goodie!) I punched the little green leaves with my, again oldie but goodie, star from the Creative Memories Galaxy Micro Maker. I then stamped the cute faces on with a face stamp made by Peachy Keen Stamps. I bought those cute little faces right when I first started stamping. They're probably one of the first five stamp sets I've ever owned, but I still love them and use them whenever I can. I even stamped the outside of my home made envelope using Close To My Heart Doodle Alphabet, another set I've had forever and still use often. The shapes for the tomatoes stamped on the envelope came from a Stampin' Up! Playful Pieces Hostess set.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Newest LandMark Letters

When we went out of town this past spring break I came across some neat letter finds. Here are some of them!

This C may very well be my favorite for now. It was just a matter of luck and timing that we came across this new Ferris wheel under construction in Myrtle Beach. It's actually nothing to sneeze at either. It's the SkyWheel and it's the tallest wheel in the Eastern part of the US. Here is an article about it. It looked like this before lunch and by afternoon, the full circle was complete! I got my C and I'm so happy.

In Washington, DC, we walked around to the museums and I snapped a few photos. I found this L when I looked across the roof line of a building with the Washington Monument in the back ground. I was needing some good L's so I took it!

O's are pretty easy to find, but as we were walking into the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, I couldn't resist snapping this O found with the Colossal Head. So tribal. So neat! So Olmec!

This L came from a South Carolina marsh. It's just a pipe and wood to some people, but to me it's an L.

At South of the Border, you'll find some craptastic junk inside the buildings. But outside... well, that's another story! Here's an A. It's Pedro and he's welcoming me to take his picture!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LandMark Letters in Sepia for The Finchers

My husband's best friend has the most amazing parents. His dad calls my husband his other son and they were so kind to give us the keys to their mountain home for the weekend. To show our appreciation, I made them a LandMark Letter gift.

Since their mountain home has a rustic interior, I didn't think the typical black and white would do, so I switched it up and printed these in sepia and framed in white, rather than black. I matted each photo on white card stock and used cream textured art paper for the background. 

Look closely at the C. I absolutely love this. I was so lucky to happen upon a ferris wheel that was under construction in Myrtle Beach when we were there for spring break. When we drove by later on in the day, they were finished and the C had changed to an O.

I usually print my photos on 4x6, but this time I made them wallet size since a last name with seven letters would require a really big frame if printed at the larger size.

The frame was a thrift store find that I spray painted off white. Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely love spray paint? Well, I do! 

I also made them a little thank you card to go with it. 

I used CTMH stamps. I believe it's the Roughin' It set, but I can't remember if that's the correct name. I also stamped on a CTMH covered button, which I think turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Those buttons are fun! 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How I Solved my Linen Storage Problem with $2

There are so many things about my home that I just love, but if I could change something on the inside it would be my laundry area. It's not even a room. It's just this closet with shelves and since the closet is a further into the interior of my house, forcing the dryer hose to be over 13 feet long, nothing dries quickly! urgh.

Oh, and not to mention the fact that this closet is right beside my bedroom. It never fails that if I'm drying something with lots of buttons or buckles, that's the night when I have to go to sleep with the dryer still running because I forgot to turn it on earlier in the day or it's running for a second time because it didn't dry all the way the first go-round.

Clothes dryer rant aside, this closet has also served as my linen closet and it has been a mess since we moved here...over five years ago! Well, yesterday I decided to change that.

Here's what I had to work with. In this photo I had already started pulling sheets and blankets from the shelves because it looked so bad. I even found the paperwork to our washer and dryer that had been there since we moved into the house. It was untouched. Those shelves have basically served as a catch all for junk, but they were somehow so full that I had no room for laundry detergent, hence the basket of bottles on top of the dryer!

Here's where the $2 comes in. I found these wire baskets at Goodwill yesterday. When I got them home and took a closer look at them, turns out they're chafing dish holders, tee hee. Now they have an entirely different use. :)

And here it is all neat and organized. I have a big bag of crib sheets and bed skirts ready for Goodwill too. I don't know why I was hanging on to those for so long! I also made enough space on my shelves for my cute hot pink cooler, beach bag that I just got from Barnes and Noble and my monogrammed Land's End tote bag.

Since my husband likes to drive me crazy by throwing his sweaty hats on top of the dryer at any given moment, I decided to stick some nails into the wall to act as pegs for him to hang his hats on. I also pulled out an old coffee can, cut a slit into the lid and placed it on the shelf. It is perfect for stashing loose change and buttons as they come off into the wash. if only I can keep mommy's new change can a secret from the kids!

Funny thing about that little hook the basket is hanging from. It was always there but I didn't know it. After clearing this shelf, I discovered that it was upside down. The hook was on the top side serving no purpose so I flipped it over and now I have something to hang my fabric softener sheets (that I never use) from. I also put a nail on the wall for the occasional belt that I have to yank from pants before they go into the wash. Today's belt was my son's baseball belt.

And there you have it. My newly organized laundry/linen closet. My actual linen closet is upstairs, but I hate going up the steps just for a pillow case, so this is where my sheets will remain. Nice and neat!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Making a Hummingbird Feeder with My Little Hummingbird.

We spent the weekend in the mountains and not only did we get to watch the sun rise over the mountain tops Saturday and Sunday morning, we were also entertained by all the hummingbirds coming to eat at the feeder hanging from the porch. I nearly drove myself insane trying to capture one with my camera. I did get one shot, but it's really no good.

Not only did I enjoy the hummingbirds, but my daughter did too. I tell you, if she were a bird, she would be a hummingbird too! These birds pretty much live on sugar and so does my sweet Taylor and she's as small and quick as a hummingbird.

This morning, Taylor and I made our own feeder for our porch. This is what my kitchen table looked like at 7 a.m. today (I'm still on watch the sunrise over the mountain- time).

We used an empty water bottle, Gatorade cap, hot glue, tin foil, and non-toxic paint. Also, we used some twine for hanging, but that's not pictured here.

Since hummingbirds drink nectar, they needed some sort of flowers to pull the sugar water from. We used tin foil to make the petals, but first we painted the foil with non toxic paint. Here are Taylor's little hands in action.

After the paint dried on the foil, I folded the foil in half and free handed the petals with my handy Martha Stewart craft scissors. Love those things! I then opened the petals and crossed them to make an x. Next, I took a poker and put a hole in the middle and glued the petals together.

Here are the petals glued to the cap. I touched up the paint and then went a little crazy with the other colors.

And here you have it! A hummingbird feeder made by Taylor and me. It is filled with sugar water that is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. We hung this up this morning and we've already had a hummingbird come to feed!

I found the instructions on making hummingbird feeders at this site: Check it out. It has lots of helpful information and more detailed instructions than I gave you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Gift for Ms. Keri

My youngest son has had a wonderful speech teacher this year. Her name is Ms. Keri and he has loved working with her. I asked him why he likes her so much and he told me that it's because she plays games with him. Well, I like her so much because she's helped him find his L's and she's working on his K sounds.

Tomorrow is his last day with her. Next year he'll be in elementary school and will probably have the resident speech teacher so we will be saying farewell! Here's a little something that I made for her as a gift to let her know how much we appreciate her. My first swing at giving someone my LandMark letters as a gift!

I pulled out my architectural letters for this one! I even got to use some of my new ones from our last vacation. I even re-purposed an old frame to be 100% crafty on this project!

I printed my pictures at the Walgreens 1-hour photo lab yesterday. I then matted them on 4.5 x 6.5 white cardstock. I used a large sheet of black paper that I bought in the art section of Hobby Lobby as the background. 

The frame itself came from this really neat thrift store that just opened. They take old junk and re-purpose it to make nice new things. I picked up the frame from the warehouse in the back for a dollar. The paint even came from there. It was a small, half-full can of high gloss latex paint. I paid $1.25 for frame and paint! This project cost me under $5.

One great thing about architectural letters is that they are everywhere! The K came from one of the barn doors at Atalaya in Huntington Beach, SC. (Yes, that's South Carolina. There's one there too!) The E is a traffic light in Savannah, GA. Of course you know, traffic lights are everywhere too. The R was a horse mount in Savannah, GA...or was that Charleston? Okay, so I can't remember where that one came from, but both cities are very similar! The I is one that most people know of. Taken in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument!

One reason why having a well stocked craft room is beneficial to your family.

It's the last week of school and my son has one final project to complete. It's due Wednesday and last night it hit me that he pretty much had NOTHING done. On Sunday, the kids and I made a paper mache mountain, but other than that, we had a semi-dry paper mache mountain and a piece of raw plywood. After thinking about our busy schedule for the rest of the week, I realized that he only had last night to work on it so I herded the kids and hubby upstairs to my craft room and we got to work! ...well, after the spray paint dried on the plywood and mountain.

I've never really done paper mache, but I knew that there was a way to do it using strips of newspaper and watered down glue, so we went with that. Thank you Martha Stewart for that nearly dried up bottle of glitter glue that has been in my craft stash for a couple years. It now has a good use! We used my old, or should I say vintage in order to sound fancy, Sears Merry Mushroom napkin holder as the mold.

Then I fired up my Cricut, making the Hollywood letters, Zoo sign, these waves and that fierce shark. I pulled out my Martha Stewart (Thanks, again!) scoring board to score the bottom quarter inch of these waves so I could fold them to make a base so they would stand up. The surf boards are from an old TAC stamp set.

The road was cut on my old Creative Memories wavy paper trimmer and I just drew in the dotted lines with my Uni-Ball gel pen in white...Love that pen!

I kept the kids busy with Legos while I was playing with paper. ...I mean helping my son work on his project. They built the people and props with them. They stayed busy the rest of the time picking up all the Legos that that they dumped on the floor in the process!

A long time ago when I saw that Jolee's Boutique San Francisco sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby, I knew that it would some day have a purpose. Well, here it is! Eighty cents well spent! The gold 49ers corner of this project came together very well with my son's Legos.

The large items are held down with glue dots. Man, I love those things! They're even securely keeping that Hot Wheels Porsche from rolling around! The paper pieces are just held down with my handy Scotch ATG tape, which I do believe is one of my best purchases!

Can you guess the theme of this project? I bet you can! It's California and it takes a look at some of the places in Cali that make it interesting. We have Hollywood of course, San Francisco, the PCH, San Diego Zoo, La Brea Tar Pits (black t-shirt paint worked nicely for that tar!) and finally, the beach. It is on wheels and ready to go in the parade. All of the kids had a state to make a float so I'm looking forward to seeing them all together! (And to see how our project compares to the others....oops, did I say that?!)

So you see, when you buy tons and tons of craft supplies and tools, you're not only buying something for yourself. You're buying emergency items to help bail your son out of procrastination! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

I do believe this is my favorite one yet! (More Caboodles craziness.)

I decided to swing by the Goodwill on Wednesday before picking my son up from school and look what I found! It's pink with peach hardware! So 90s fab and I love, love, love it! I really hope to find a black and white one with a hot pink handle one of these days. These are so much fun to collect! I just hope my husband doesn't call me out on to this madness. 

I was so excited to snap a photo of this baby that I didn't even notice that I missed a couple spots when I was drying it off. oops!
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Stampin Up! Meets Pottery at Bisque N Beads!

I had the pleasure of helping out with our church's Girls in Action group this year. The girls were amazing, but what was more amazing was the work and dedication of Mrs. Lisa, the group's leader. I knew there was no way to thank her in a way that could begin to match the time, talents and resources she put into the group, so I did the next best thing. I made her something!

Last Friday, I loaded my Stampin Up! Boatloads of Love, along with my All in the Family stamp sets into my craft bag and headed to Bisque n' Beads. This year's theme was Anchors Aweigh, so a nautical themed plate was perfect!

I was so excited to get started on this gift for Mrs. Lisa. I mean really excited. So excited that I showed up about thirty minutes before the place even opened! Now I know. Bisque n' Beads does not open until 10 a.m.. Matter of Fact, NOTHING (except for the little pharmacy) opens before 10 a.m. on the square in downtown Hickory. Hmph. Luckily the weather was nice last Friday morning so I walked down to the pharmacy, bought a Coke and sat on a bench and waited for the store to open.

Once they let me into the store, I went to the wall, picked out a big plate that would be the perfect size for Lottie Moon cookies and got started. I stared by stamping the images directly onto the bisque. I used Memento Tuxedo Black (my favorite). It really didn't matter what ink I used at this point. The ink will fire out. If you want your line image to work directly from the stamp, you have to stamp with actual pottery glaze. In this case, I traced back over the lines with a fine tipped squeeze bottle of pottery paint. This was a good thing because I accidentally stamped a cloud a little too close to where Mrs. Lisa's head was supposed to be stamped! I had a little bit of overlapping going on for a while!

After that, I painted, and painted, and painted! I was there for over two hours, but here it is. My gift for Mrs. Lisa. I gave it to her on Wednesday night and she loved it. There's just something about hand painted pottery. Love it! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

My little terrarium.

I've been wanting to make my own terrarium for about a year now but never got around to it. Until today, that is! I found this little glass jar this afternoon at the thrift shop and knew that today would be the day to make my very own terrarium! 

The jar is a little Anchor Hocking candy jar. It probably sat on some cute little old lady's coffee table for years filled with stuck-together-in-one-solid-lump hard candy. It is now filled with rocks, marbles, potting soil, a little bit of moss from the yard, and a little plant that my son gave me for Mother's Day. Not exactly an edible switch, but neither is that old hard candy! I also hope to find a mini mushroom and cute gnome figurine to place inside. I'll probably find these items on Etsy. I'm sure of it.

This is such a fun and easy little project. I see a few more terrariums in my future! If you're a friend of mine, I hope you like them too. Don't be surprised if you get one from me as a gift. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm officially Caboodles crazy!

Since buying that pretty blue Caboodles (and that big Sassaby) less than a week ago, the wheels have been turning. There are so many things that I can store inside a Caboodles, so I was thrilled to find two more today!

The pink and lilac one is my favorite, but boy was it a mess! It was covered in scuff marks and grime, but nothing a bottle of orange cleaner & degreaser, an old toothbrush and my Magic Eraser couldn't handle! Also, a little furniture polish works wonders when it comes to removing old stickers and gunk.

What I love about this pink and lilac beauty is its size. It is made just like the caboodle that I used to have back in the day too! My old buddy, oh how I miss you! It has two tiers of shelves, a removable tray and a mirror. You could call this the deluxe model! :) Now that it's all cleaned up, I've decided to move my makeup over to this baby! I need that mirror.

I do have one word of caution about cleaning your Caboodles with a Magic Eraser. Don't wipe it over the logo. I'm pretty sure I did that on this one. See where it's a little rubbed off on the top? It doesn't take much elbow grease to either! I didn't realize I had done that until I was drying it off. Sigh.

Here's how the oval shaped caboodle opens up. I'm really not sure how old this one is. When I look on eBay, I see that some people are saying this one is a style from the '80s, but I don't agree at all. The mirror looks brand new and the plastic doesn't look very old. It also has a recycling symbol with the number 5 inside. That's a dead give away that it isn't as old as the others. I think I shall call this one my new nail polish kit!

These boxes are just so much fun. They come in some funky colors that I'd really like to have so my quest continues! Meanwhile, I'll be happy with the ones I have for now. I'll also be happy to share them with my daughter. You know Caboodles crazy tends to run in the family. :)

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